The Genesis of Corn-Fed Cars

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Also contributing to this story is Dennis Keeney, PhD, MS. | Over the next six months, this bimonthly blog series, “Corn-Fed Cars: On the Road with Ethanol,” will initiate a conversation about ethanol and the current environmental and economic impacts of its use.  This first post addresses the progression of ethanol use in the U.S., and the forces that have gotten us to where we are today.

This June at the “Iowa Corn Indy 250,” flags touting “Iowa Corn” and t-shirts promoting “Corn Power” were a common sight at the Newton, Iowa racetrack. The slogans are no surprise, given two facts: first, that the race is sponsored by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and second, fellow racing giant NASCAR’s  announcement last year that they will partner with American ethanol producers to fuel its fleet with a gasoline blend containing 15 percent corn ethanol.

At a time when the buzz about corn ethanol seems to have died down on the coasts, its advocates are speaking up, and production in the Midwest continues to ramp up to record levels in light of government subsidies and mandates that spurred the growth of the industry over the last decade. Today, 40 percent of the corn crop in the U.S. goes to ethanol production. Read More >

A Solution to Contaminated Foods – Local Sustainable Agriculture

In mid-January, Future Harvest – A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, held its 10th annual conference. More than 200 people gathered to learn about sustainable agriculture practices, and how to get more local, sustainable foods into groceries, schools, hospitals and even farmers markets (thanks to keynote speaker Nina Planck). This year’s attendance was evidence of the expanding diversity of the group’s supporters as food service chefs from schools and hospitals, small grocery buyers, local food distributors, and farmers’ market managers came for the first time. Farmers from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania mingled with these folks, sharing their stories and talking about ways to improve the local food system. Members and supporters of Future Harvest CASA are a real, viable solution to the recent unsettling news about the safety of our food supply – like antibiotic resistant staff strains in industrially produced hogs and mercury in industrially produced High Fructose Corn Syrup or see IATP press release. Read More >